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Felix the Cat: The Movie
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by Jack Sommersby

"Sloppy and Inane"
1 stars

Completed in 1988 but not released to American box offices until 1991, it was obviously seen as a dog by the studio, and they were right.

Felix the Cat: The Movie is a particularly depressing experience, and not just because it’s truly lackadaisical stuff but because the moviemakers seem to have put in the absolute least amount of effort into it to please children who they obviously assume don’t ask for much in an animated feature, and the result is an all-out disaster that hasn’t enough entertainment value for even a twenty-minute short. What there is of the disposable story has something to do with the blonde, blue-eyed Princess of Oriana having to flee her legendary kingdom when the evil Duke of Zill launches an attack on it; in a truly bizarre bit, before being captured, the princess cries out a single tear with her holographic image in it turning bright gold and managing to somehow activate an ancient escape pod, which time-warps to another dimension and winds up landing on and awakening our hero, the giant-eyed, black cat Felix as he’s dozing underneath a tree on a luscious beach. Taken out of his relaxed existence, Felix finds himself having to rely on his magic-tricks bag to thwart his pursuers, who consist not only of his regular antagonists, the geeky innovator Poindexter and his uncle who want to get their hands on Felix’s bag, but Zill’s sinister, motorized cylinders and tubes (which look like the army robots from Disney’s live-action science fiction tale The Black Hole); he’s eventually apprehended by the leader of a circus who astounds his audience with a talking cat and forces Felix to perform for the crowd. Eventually Felix and Oriana join forces to put an end to Zill’s dastardly rein, and we’re nonplussed at just how little we could actually care at how at how all this plays out. Felix isn’t a particularly interesting character, and that his bag produces such unimpressive objects as a sword, a scuba-diving suit and a rock driller are far from enthralling; and the fact that he laughs at his own bad jokes (he remarks “I think I’m falling for you” to someone he’s caused to fall out of a tree) doesn’t remotely endear him to us and reeks of desperation on the part of the screenwriters trying to excuse their pathetic verbiage. And the bland, forgettable songs they’ve concocted don’t come off any better -- the only saving grace on our aural senses is that they’re few and far between, though this doesn’t prevent the movie from stopping dead cold during a prolonged tap-dance number that any acute editor would’ve mercifully truncated. It would be a vast understatement to say the director, Tibor Hernadi, making his feature-length debut after a few shorts, doesn’t exactly have a captivating eye for visual detail (the images cry out for a Ralph Bakshi or Don Bluth in their prime), with choppy continuity and haphazard shaping dooming the proceedings to near-intelligibility (it were as if the celluloid had been handed over to an editor with epilepsy during post-production). Granted, one doesn’t necessarily ask for technical bravura in children’s fare, but imagination and wit aren’t too much to ask for, and Felix the Cat: The Movie is forever dropping the ball in favor of easy effects to sate undemanding audiences not looking for anything other than mere filler material to satisfy the kiddies, who, I’ll bet, will be bored silly at this incongruent claptrap that makes as much basic sense as a pop-up book read backwards.

Nothing in Felix's magical bag can save this turkey.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=29139&reviewer=327
originally posted: 05/21/15 22:29:24
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User Comments

9/19/17 Ken Sorry, but I didn't like this film. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Apr-1991 (G)

UK
  01-Oct-1988 (U)

Australia
  02-Jan-1992 (G)




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